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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wheel of Fortune Versus Planning & Working Towards Dreams

Why Do People of All Ages Love Wheel of Fortune?

Who in America Doesn't Recognize

     Pat Sajak & Vanna White?

Thought for the day: Are you wishing you were luckier? Do you blame fate or the economy for keeping you from accomplishing what you want in life? Are you discouraged when dreams don't happen quickly? If you feel that way, you are not alone. Our society may be undermining your journey towards your dreams by the allure of immediate gratification versus planning & working to attain dreams. I'd love to hear how this impacts on you & will be Live on the radio on 5/17/2012 to answer your questions (see details at the end of this post).

I admit it, I am a closet Wheel of Fortune addict. I don't watch much TV, but watching Wheel of Fortune is an almost daily event for me. I record the show & fast-forward through commercials, but love to compete with the contestants. I like to think it is a way to stay young & an insurance policy against alzeheimers, but it is more. The show premiered in 1975 & is the longest-running syndicated game show on American TV.  My grandmother, who watched it daily, introduced me on to it during a visit in the 1970's. I began watching regularly when I moved back to the U.S. in the 80's. From Pat Sajac's natural ability to joke with contestants, to Vanna White's elaborate wardrobe, to the prospect of winning trips & money & to the puzzles, what makes the show so popular with people of all ages?

The psychology of this game show's success appears to be related to our wish for dreams to come true magically. Yesterday's bonus round puzzle was: __ __ __ __ __   __ __ N __ after they gave the contestant the letters R, S, T, N, L  & E. He chose the letters M, C, D, A & the bonus letter G. What he had before his attempt to solve the puzzle was M A G __ C     __ A N D. He guessed Magic & then got stuck guessing, "hand, band, sand..." Just after the buzzer, he figured out the word, "Wand," for the solution of "Magic Wand." (Which I, & probably 99% of the audience, already solved.)

Are You Disappointed When Dreams
      Don't Happen Magically

Oddly enough, the feeling of having a magic wand is what the show seems to give to all viewers. Even though the likelihood of a Wheel Watcher Club fan winning is miniscule, the vicarious prospect of winning keeps fans keep coming back. Like any addiction, gambling, drugs or any habit for that matter, if every now & then you or someone wins, you will return for another chance to win.

Since this is a word game show, much like Jeopardy, there is another element to winning beyond luck. Winners must also be skilled at word games. Without a great vocabulary & problem solving abilities, contestants could not solve the puzzles. So a combination of intelligence, skill & luck is necessary for success in this game.

In the game of life, some people place more emphasis on fate & fortune & see themselves as failures when their dreams don't come true as quickly as they would like. Rarely do not they know how long & hard others may have worked to reach their dreams. When people attain their dreams too quickly, they often do not know what to do next nor do they appreciate their accomplishments. Sadly, stories of people winning the lottery & ending up bankrupt are well documented. How many movie & sports stars have squandered their wealth on drugs & alcohol? The saying, "easy come, easy go," arose in response to these kinds of magic wand accomplishments.

The word success is intentionally avoided in my book. Even though there are many best sellers based on the promise of "quick success," I see "wake up" dreams as a journey which requires planning & hard work, not instant gratification. People have asked whether it works like the theories proposed in the book The Secret using the law of attraction. Those theories are more like the Wheel of Fortune approach than mine. I believe that once you start on your journey, new opportunities may present themselves, but it is not some magical attraction that makes these opportunities arise. It is hard work & intention that brings you into new arenas & introduces you to new people & places.

Are you discouraged when dreams don't happen quickly? Have you had a lucky break & then lost it or not appreciated the accomplishment? Tomorrow, May 17th, 2012, 2 PM EDST, I will be on a live radio show with Coach Marla If you would like to ask questions about this or other things I have discussed in my blog, you can call 347-324-5661. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue & how it affects you.

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